Meet the Parents – Advice for New Mummies and Daddies with Forget Me Knit

Welcome to my new blog series entitled Meet the Parents – Advice for New Mummies and Daddies. It has occurred to me whilst pregnant that so much advice to given to you by anyone and everyone; grannies in the street, ladies on checkouts, friends who don’t have children(!); but where better to get advice from  than those who are going through it right now, themselves?

This week’s wisdom comes from Sarah from Forget Me Knit.

Tell me a bit about you, your blog and your family

I am Sarah, Mum to two boys under two – so as you can imagine I have my hands some-what full! We live in the vibrant city of Bristol and enjoy exploring all the city has to offer. I have dipped in and out of blogging for a couple of years, but really got in to it when I was pregnant with my second son, Arthur. My eldest is called Ted and he is a whirlwind – as most toddlers are! We love spending time together as a family and look forward to our weekends for adventures together.

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What one essential item would you insist on putting in your hospital bag (for you)?

I really wanted to make sure I could contact my family and update them from hospital, so I took a spare charged battery for my phone AND a power bar so I could always make sure I had a full battery. I hated the thought of not being able to tell people the baby had arrived safely or have to rush any of those special conversations. It also meant I could take as many pictures as I wanted! Another great thing we took to hospital was bluetooth headphones – they are wireless so for a while I was handling the contractions by getting into my own little world listening to music.
Was there anything unexpected that happened during labour, that you think first-time mums should be prepared for?

I think the thing I am surprised at most of all from both of my labours, is how midwifves and other maternity care givers don’t always listen to you. When I was in labour the second time I kept telling them I really needed to push and they told me I wasn’t ready and that I still had a while to go… he was born 3 minutes later! So always be clear on your feelings and instincts! I was induced for both of my labours and it takes a really long time – be prepared for things not to happen straight away.
What would be your one essential product for a newborn that no new parent should live without?

A wrap or a sling – especially with your second baby when you have a toddler to take care of! I couldn’t live without mine. It makes me feel reassured that Arthur is getting the physical contact and comfort he needs from me, but I am still able to play with and entertain Ted. There are so many to choose from – you need to have a try and see what you personally are most comfortable with.

We have borrowed a sling from a friend to see how we get on with it before buying one.
What’s the best piece of advice you were given before your first child was born?

Not really advice, but I have one friend who was very realistic and honest with me about everything – labour, childbirth, breastfeeding and beyond. I found it really helped me be prepared for things to be tough at times, and to know that it was normal. I really appreciated her being honest with me and it made me feel like it was OK to have difficult days.

Sounds like a good friend to have around!
What’s the worst piece of advice you were given?

Sleep when baby sleeps! As if! I didn’t put Ted down for the first 6 months! 🙂
What would be your top tip for a first time parent-to-be?

My top tip would be don’t listen to anyone’s top tip! (except this one, of course!) It is always interesting to hear how other people parent and it can sometimes be helpful – but ultimately you should just do things your way. Don’t doubt yourself because you do things differently to someone else, or compare yourself in anyway – different things work for different people and you know your baby best. Everyone should do what works best for them as a family.

What’s the hardest thing about being a new parent?

Lack of sleep! Ted was a terrible sleeper and I walked around in a zombie-like state for a goof few months. It was a total shock to the system! Make sure you are kind to yourself in those early days and have a good support network around you. It will get better!
What’s the best thing about being a new parent?

Getting to know this new yet familiar little creature that you grew! It is so amazing when you first hold them – I will never forget that moment with both of my boys, it was so special. It makes everything disappear into the background – if you had a difficult and uncomfortable pregnancy or a long labour, it will all soon be forgotten in that moment.

Aw, what a lovely note to end on!

Thank you for that great advice, Sarah! You can find Sarah over on her blog, on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

If you’d like to take part in my Meet the Parents series, please email me at jules@ponderingparenthood.com.

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Pregnancy Diary Week 37

This week of pregnancy has been a bit strange really. I’d always thought that I’d be super chilled come week 37, as this would mean that baby is full term and could arrive perfectly healthily at any time she’s ready.

Instead, I’ve spend this week knowing that my baby is going to be born by caesarean section the following week. I’ve been to the hospital for my pre op and steroid injections, been talked through the whole procedure by a midwife and chatted to an anaesthetist about what to expect.

I downloaded a caesarean-specific hypnobirthing album that I’ve been listening to for the past week, but to be honest I’m still feeling very anxious about the whole thing. I think I just can’t believe that I’d be lucky enough for everything to go well. Others have told me not to think about the procedure and just focus on the final result, meeting our baby, but I don’t dare think about that too much in case it all goes wrong.

Anyway, I’ve just been focusing on getting through each step of the process; there’s been a few things to do in preparation (which is interesting because obviously none of this would happen if I were to have an unplanned section or if I hadn’t happened to have these extra scans that have found the baby to be breech, and small).

On Wednesday I had to attend my pre-op. The midwife talked me through the process. To be honest I found her to be quite abrupt and she even asked me to stop asking questions and just listen as I was putting her off her train of thought! I didn’t think I’d asked a lot of questions, and the ones I did ask were to clarify what she was telling me. I thought the whole point of a pre-op was so that the patient would have a good understanding of the procedure and to make sure they prepared appropriately?! Unfortunately I just felt a bit like I was on a conveyor belt and she wasn’t really bothered about how I felt about the whole thing, just as long as she’d done her job and told me everything she was supposed to tell me.

I also saw the anaesthetist at this appointment. He was really nice and said I’m allowed to wear my contact lenses and a bit of make up in theatre (even though the midwife told me I couldn’t). It’s a shame that he might not be the anaesthetist on the day. I’m also allowed to take in my phone and headphones so that I can listen to my hypnobirthing tracks. I’m hoping this will help with my anxiety.

Before I left I had to have the first of two steroid injections. Gosh it was painful! The midwife seemed to think she could use the massive needle as an instrument of torture and inserted it as slowly and agonisingly as she could into my right buttock. I used my hypnobirthing breathing, which really helped, but she threw my focus by saying, “okay, half way there!”

Half way?! Are you bloody kidding me?!

Actually that really ought to be in speech marks as it wasn’t just a thought; it actually came out of my mouth. I’m even more sure that she was deliberately being evil now as the following day when I attended for the second one, a different midwife just jabbed it in and, whilst equally painful, it was over far more quickly! Needless to say I thanked the second midwife profusely!

Tonight (I’m writing this on Sunday) I’ve got to take an antacid, then another one at 6am tomorrow along with a couple of paracetamol. I’ve been told to arrive promptly at the hospital at 7am. Torture midwife, however, told me that I’m currently 4th on the list and they only usually do three c-sections in a morning, so I could be in for a long wait, or even postponed to another day. Fingers crossed it doesn’t turn out to be the agonising wait that I’m now prepared for!

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My Petit Canard

When to get out the pram? Uppababy Vista First Impressions

After lots of umming and ahhing, we eventually decided on an Uppababy Vista as our choice of pushchair. However, Hubby has always been very superstitious. He won’t let me put new shoes on a table, won’t walk past me on the stairs and will never under any circumstances walk over a triple drain. So you can imagine how thrilled I was when his idiot friend told him that it’s bad luck to get out the pram before the baby arrives.

His other, infinitely more sensible, friend had advised him to get the travel system out and practice, practice, practice putting it up, down, adding bits on, taking bits off etc as he claimed that you should never underestimate how simple functions can be a complete mystery when you’re sleep deprived (He claims he once spent ten minutes just standing, staring at his son’s pushchair with no clue what to do, or even any clue of what it was he even wanted to do…).

The Uppababy Vista

So the other night I decided that despite my husband’s protestations, I would be taking the Uppababy Vista out of its box, seeing what was what and what we would be needing straight away and what could go back in the box for later. I also wanted a reminder of how the whole lot worked…they make it look so easy in the shop, don’t they?!

When trying to decide which travel system to buy, I found it really helpful to read and watch various ‘What’s in the box?’ blogs and vlogs, but never came across one for the Uppababy Vista, our eventual choice, so I thought I’d write a little post myself.

What’s in the box?

Upon opening the box you first set eyes on a rather swanky black bag. This contains the toddler seat and the carrycot. Personally, I’ve found this bag really useful for stashing all of the bits we don’t need yet; i.e. the toddler seat and all of the related paraphernalia.

Here’s what’s in the box:

Uppababy Vista, Uppababy Vista what's in the box, What's included with Uppababy Vista?, Carseat adapters Uppababy Vista

As you can see, there’s a lot included with the Uppbaby Vista. Pictured is the entire contents which includes:

  • Stroller Frame
  • Front and Back Wheels
  • Toddler Seat
  • Carrycot with Mattress
  • Bumper Bar for Toddler Seat
  • Toddler Seat Rain Cover
  • Toddler Seat Insect Net
  • Carrycot Rain Cover
  • Carrycot Insect Net
  • Maxi-Cosi Car Seat Adapters
  • Uppababy Vista User Manual

I’m particularly impressed with the inclusion of car seat adapters as these were an additional extra cost with a lot of the pushchairs that we looked at. Here it is with the car seat in situ:

Uppababy Vista, Maxi Cosi, Maxi Cosi Pebble Plus, Maxi Cosi Car Seat, Maxi Cosi Pebble Plus Car Set, Uppababy Vista compatiable with Maxi Cosi Car Seat

Check out the size of that basket! I have to admit, this was one of the main selling features for us. Some pushchairs come with such small baskets and I didn’t want to be laden down with bags and maneuvering a pushchair! The car seat clips into the stroller frame pretty easily, but I did find it a bit of a challenge to release and lift at the same time. I’m sure I’ll find it easier with practice, though!

Here is it with the carrycot instead of the car seat:

Uppababy Vista, Uppababy, Uppababy Vista Carrycot

One of the things I really like about the carrycot is the built in sun shade (the silver thing you can see inside the carrycot canopy). It also has a ventilation panel at the back of the canopy that you can lift up and magnet in place to look smart. The carrycot is also sleep safe, meaning that we won’t have to take an additional bassinet down to Somerset when we go to our friend’s wedding in the summer. The carrycot is also really easy to click into and remove from the stroller frame; it has a button on the top of the handle which you just release and lift off. Easy!

Overall, my first impressions are really positive. We were a bit concerned about how bulky the Uppababy Vista looked when we first put it together, but I wheeled it around the nursery a bit and it wheeled easily through the bedroom door, so I’m fairly confident that we shouldn’t have too much trouble getting it in and out of shops etc. I just can’t wait for little one to be here now so that we can start using it! This time next week…!

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Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored in any way. We paid for the Uppababy Vista ourselves; I just wanted to share as I thought it might help others when choosing a travel system.

You Baby Me Mummy
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Meet the Parents – Advice for New Mummies and Daddies with Mummy Adventure

Welcome to my new blog series entitled Meet the Parents – Advice for New Mummies and Daddies. It has occurred to me whilst pregnant that so much advice to given to you by anyone and everyone; grannies in the street, ladies on checkouts, friends who don’t have children(!); but where better to get advice from  than those who are going through it right now, themselves?

We kick off with Bex from The Mummy Adventure.

Tell me a bit about you, your blog and your family.

My name is Bex and I blog about life with three small boys (and a baby girl on the way). Life with three under four is never quiet but it is always fun and I love sharing our adventures, what the boys wear, where we go and how things change.

me and mine Jan

What one essential item would you insist on putting in your hospital bag (for you)?

For me it has to be eyeliner, I know it is vain but those first photos are some of the most precious ones I have kept and I look exhausted (rightly so) after giving birth. A touch of eyeliner before leaving the hospital really made me feel more confident and our ‘coming home’ photos don’t have to be edited into black and white to look as good.

I have packed a full make up bag in my hospital bag – it might not get used but I can’t stand the thought of not having it there!

Was there anything unexpected that happened during labour, that you think first-time mums should be prepared for?

I think there is a lot of pressure to write a birth plan when really what we should be preparing for is for nothing to go as plan. I now write a list of preferences as I have realised that labour is unpredictable and you may surprise yourself, either by going in wanting all the drugs and ending up having a pain relief free natural labour, or maybe you are convinced you want things one way and end up choosing something very different when the time comes.

Absolutely, there are some pain relief options I’d like to avoid and others I’m open to if they prove necessary!

What would be your one essential product for a newborn that no new parent should live without?

Muslins – I now have about 50 as I like to always have one on hand. I have used them in cloth nappies when I forgot an insert, as a burping cloth, a makeshift bib, a breastfeeding cover, a newborn swaddle, a light blanket, a changing mat and a wet wipe. They are so versatile and so useful that I never leave the house without one.

I may have started stockpiling these since reading this advice…

What’s the best piece of advice you were given before your first child was born?

A mother’s instinct is the most valuable thing you have. There are so many books, so many right and wrong ways to do things, so much advice but when you come across a decision, stop and think about what feels right as that is probably what you should be doing. On the same strand if you think something is wrong then insist your questions are answered, nobody knows your baby like you do.

What’s the worst piece of advice you were given?

To let a baby cry it out – totally not for me. My eldest son was only six weeks when I was told he would only learn to sleep through the night if I left him to cry and learn that you don’t get milk at night. My son was not only hungry due to his tiny tummy, but he is a real person with feelings and complex needs and when he wakes in the night, sometimes it is just for reassurance that I am there, that he is safe still, and that is a really important need to meet.

What would be your top tip for a first time parent-to-be?

Create boundaries and enforce them when you bring your baby home. Don’t let in too many visitors, don’t let them stay too long and make sure they are making you a cup of tea and not the other way round. It is so important to have time just you and your baby, your new family so don’t let everyone get in the way.

We have tried this already – sowing the seed to the grandparents that they can’t expect to be round every day in the first week!

What’s the hardest thing about being a new parent?

Working out how to leave the house! I had no idea how much I would need of everything and when you finally feel like you are ready baby decides they need a feed and/or to fill their nappy.

I have difficulties leaving the house on time now…this does not bode well!

What’s the best thing about being a new parent?

The love that nobody can really prepare you for. I was told how much I would love this little person but I never understood it until he was here and it was so consuming and overwhelming and perfect.

I think my heart just melted!

Thanks Bex, some great advice there for new parents! You can find Bex on her blog, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

If you’d like to take part in my Meet the Parents series, please email me at jules@ponderingparenthood.com.

meet the parents, parenting advice, advice for new parents, new mummy, new daddy, new mum, new dad, baby advice

My Random Musings

Pregnancy Diary Week 36

This week of pregnancy has been quite eventful really. We had our scan on Tuesday to find out whether the baby was still breech, and got a little bit more than we bargained for as the powers that be decided that, despite a normal growth scan at 34 weeks, the baby is still measuring small, meaning that they want to get her out early. So we’re having a caesarean at 38 weeks.

My posts might go out of sync a bit, as I always write them retrospectively (I am 37 weeks pregnant today, writing my 36 week pregnancy diary) so the next pregnancy update from me may well be our birth announcement! It depends on what happens this week and next weekend!

Anyway, I won’t rehash too much about Tuesday’s scan, as you can read about that here if you like. On Thursday, I saw my nephrologist (kidney consultant). We had a very interesting chat in light of the scan on Tuesday and the decision to have a caesarean. I told him that we did have the option to try turning the baby (an ECV) but that we’d decided that there was probably a reason the baby had been breech since the 28 week scan.

Interestingly, he said that he thought we were wise to take that decision as trying to manually turn the baby could potentially result in one of the cysts on my kidneys being ruptured. This would not be fun. I’m quite relieved that we’d decided against this anyway, but really it was just luck that we hadn’t chosen an ECV and I’d seen him before any action was taken. This is what I meant at the beginning of my pregnancy about him being involved in my care. It’s all very well saying that obstetrics will inform him if there’s anything to worry about with my bloods/urine but specialist practical knowledge like that about my kidneys and the ECV isn’t something obstetrics would know, or be expected to know about.

I also asked if the size of my kidneys and lack of space inside me could have contributed to the baby being breech. He said that without an MRI he couldn’t say for certain, but it wouldn’t surprise him if my huge kidneys were creating a kind of ‘buffer’ on either side of my uterus, effectively wedging the baby in place.

This made me feel more positive about having a caesarean as I don’t feel that there’s anything I’ve done ‘wrong’ or anything more I could have done to try to turn the baby. Although the way she’s been moving this week I’m sure she’s been trying to turn, bless her.

Except for Thursday. On Thursday she was really quiet. To the point that I called delivery suite and we went in for monitoring. Fortunately everything was fine and she started having a party in there as soon as I was hooked up to the monitor. The midwives at the hospital were great though, and even though they were super busy (I later found out from a friend that they delivered 11 babies that night!) they made me feel like a priority and I didn’t feel like I had wasted anybody’s time.

I had wondered whether I had done the right thing as it’s difficult to know what constitutes reduced movements when baby has quiet days and busy days. But I was told on Tuesday to call even if I thought I was being paranoid, and I’m not at all sorry that I did, and wouldn’t hesitate to call again if it happened again.

This coming week is going to be a busy one as we get final bits and pieces sorted out ready for baby. It’s a bit strange having an actual date but in a way it’s good as it gives us something to focus on. We’re used to working to a deadline so it works for us!

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My Petit Canard

Secret Saviours Anti Strech Mark Pack – The (Almost) Final Results!

Now that we have an eviction date for baby, I thought I’d better write a stretch mark update while there’s still time! As you know, I’ve been using the Secret Saviours Anti Stretch Mark Pack since around week 22 of this pregnancy. I was a bit late starting, as Secret Saviours recommend that you start using the pack from around weeks 12-14 of pregnancy, but it doesn’t seem to have done any harm in my case.

A few weeks ago, I sized up from a medium to a large bump band as my belly grew! Again, I measured the circumference of my bump at the belly button, then used the size guide on the Secret Saviours website to see which size I needed. I must admit I do prefer to size up a little earlier than they suggest, as the medium band was starting to feel a bit restrictive.

I have to confess, I haven’t worn the bump band much over the past week or so, but this is mainly due to having so many scans and baby-related appointments where people need access to my bump! I’ve still been using the cream though, which I still love, and it seems to be doing the trick as my bump is stretch mark free! One of the registrars even complimented me on it at a recent bump-feeling appointment, which I must admit made me feel just a little bit smug!

I’m a little bit disappointed that a c-section is going to leave a scar on my currently flawless belly, but on the flip side I’m pleased that I’ll have some evidence of my mummy status (and will hopefully retain control in my lady area; apologies for the overshare)!

Anyway, here we go, the long-awaited photo of my bump (cringe!), which proves that there is not a stretch mark to be seen! Hopefully none will appear over the next week before we meet baby!

image

 

Have you got stretch marks? How do you feel about them? Would you try to reduce/eliminate  them if you could?

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Disclaimer: Secret Saviours kindly sent me their Anti Stretch Mark Pack to write about, however all opinions are my own.

 

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

The 36 Week Scan – The news I didn’t want to hear…

Today (at time of writing; yesterday at time of publishing) we had our scan to see if the baby was still breech. We’ve spent most of the past two weeks since our last scan thinking positively and assuming that, while increasingly less likely, the baby would turn in time and we’d be able to plan a natural birth. We’ve done a hypnobirthing course (which was great; lots of visualisation about the baby being in the right position) and nearly every night we’ve been trying moxibustion (Google it!) in the hope that the baby would turn.

On Monday I saw the midwife who, while refusing to put anything other than a question mark next to the presentation of the baby on my notes, told me she thought the baby might be head down, and 3/5 engaged at that. All very encouraging.

Then we had the scan. Still breech. I wasn’t overly worried about this; we’ve obviously discussed it before as it was becoming increasingly likely that this would happen and we’d decided on a c-section in the event that it did.

The news that we weren’t expecting was that the baby was measuring small. At our growth scan two weeks ago, we were reassured that the baby was measuring fine and the previous scan which showed the baby was small, was an anomaly. However the doctors now reckon that the ‘normal’ size scan was the anomaly, and the baby has been pretty small all the way along.

It’s our hospital’s policy to induce early (at 37 weeks) with babies that measure below the 10th centile. However, our baby is measuring on the 10th centile. Normally with breech babies they wait until 39th week to perform a caesarean section. So with me they have decided to split the difference and deliver at 38 +1.

Less than two weeks’ time. Eeek!

I must admit I have had a bit of a cry to mourn the natural birth that I was hoping for, but to be honest I just want to do whatever is safest for the baby, and in this instance it would seem that a c-section is the right way to go. I’m sure I’ll be feeling more philosophical and hopefully more positive once I’ve had a chance to digest the news. At the moment my mind is just swimming with the possibility of NICU and me being stuck on a ward with other women and their babies while mine is in difficulty elsewhere.

But that’s just one option. It could all be fine. The 15% margin of error with sizing the baby could mean that ours is actually perfectly fine weight-wise, just in an awkward position, and she’ll be absolutely fine. Time to try some hypnobirthing positive visualisation to swish those negative thoughts away!

Have you had a positive c-section experience? I’d love to hear about it in the comments. If you had a negative one, to be honest, I’d rather not know about it just now! Thanks lovelies xx

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Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Pregnancy Diary Week 35

This week we’ve spent getting a little bit more prepared for the arrival of baby, following the news last weekend that one of our NCT friends, due mere days before us, had their baby five weeks early! This certainly sharpened our focus that there’s not long to go; especially for hubby who I don’t think I’ve ever seen so panicked!

Fortunately all seems to be going well for our friends despite their surprise early arrival. It has been good for us to realise that we need to be a bit more motivated in terms of being ready; we have most of the ‘stuff’, it’s just not organised properly.

On Tuesday we had another IKEA delivery of a small storage unit for the nursery and a tall bookcase for the spare bedroom, as we just had so many books the half height bookcase we had simply wasn’t cutting it!

Also on Tuesday the Health Visitor came to introduce herself and the service they offer. I really had no idea what to expect and I’m sure, like me, you’ve heard lots of horror stories about Health Visitors pushing their own opinion of what is ‘right’ and generally making new mothers feel wholly inadequate. I think I came over a little more aggressively than I meant to, as she told me that I could refuse the service if I wanted to! Whoops! She did say, though, that she herself had become a Health Visitor after her own HV had treated her in just the way I had described. So I think she knew where I was coming from!

We had a good chat though and I felt really encouraged as the conversation continued as everything she said, she supported with research which made me feel as though she was coming from a considered approach rather than an ‘I’ve been doing this for years and I know best’ point of view. I told her about my worries around breastfeeding and my friend’s wedding and she was really positive. She politely disagreed with what the breastfeeding counsellor had told me, and even offered to make an additional appointment with me at around 3-4 weeks to help me to introduce a bottle, which we can make nearer the time if breastfeeding is working out for me. Hopefully I’ve found the practical support I was looking for!

On Sunday we had our second hypnobirthing session (more about that later in the week) and then we finally packed mine and hubby’s hospital bags. I’m hoping to get a changing bag soon so that I can use that as baby’s hospital bag. In the meantime if anything happens we’ll just have to shove it all in a carrier bag!! Oh the shame! I doubt I’ll be that bothered when I’m dealing with the business of birthing though…

How was your experience with your Health Visitor? Was I right to be sceptical or have you had a lovely, supportive relationship with yours?

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Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored in any way.

 

My Petit Canard

Book Review: Why Your Baby’s Sleep Matters

One of the things that I’ve had most thoughts of trepidation over, and I’m sure it’s the same as most prospective first-time parents, is how on earth we’re going to cope of vastly reduced amounts of sleep once the baby is here. The ladies in our NCT group have even made a group called ‘Zombie Mummies’ in anticipation, for goodness’ sake!

In addition to this, of course we all want the best for our babies, and as they don’t come with a manual, and advice given by former generations seems so, well, harrowing (leave them to cry it out etc etc) I’ve been feeling at a bit of a loss as to how to cope with the whole baby sleep thing.

So I was really interested when Pinter and Martin asked me to review one of their new books, Why Your Baby’s Sleep Matters, by Sarah Ockwell-Smith.

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It’s not a weighty tome by any means; in fact, it’s quite short (160 pages) and is divided into small chapters which makes it a fairly easy read. The thing I liked most about it (and this is probably the teacher and psychology graduate in me!) is that everything Sarah writes is backed up by evidence-based research. Not only that, it’s not preachy in any way. It’s not a manual for ‘how to parent’; it presents the research and risks and benefits of different approaches and leaves you to make up your own mind.

It’s taken me a few weeks to read, but this is mainly because I’m a busy bunny and after reading each chapter, I’ve had a good think about what I’ve read, talked about it with hubby and discussed which approach we think we’d like to take. Of course this may change once baby is here and we consider things in light of having an actual human to look after!

Topics covered include why babies are programmed to wake during the night, how they nap, how feeding can affect babies’ sleep, co-sleeping and bed-sharing, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), coping with exhaustion and, usefully, how to deal with well-meaning but stress-inducing advice from friends and family without upsetting them too much!

Definitely worth a read!

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Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of Why Your Baby’s Sleep Matters by Sarah Ockwell-Smith for the purposes of this review, but all opinions are my own.

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Hypnobirthing Session 1

On Sunday we went to our first hypnobirthing session. I first heard about hypnobirthing a few years ago when a friend said she had done classes and it really helped her through her first birth experience. Anything that can help with birth sounds good to me so of course I got it into my head that when my time came, I’d find out more about this hypnobirthing malarkey.

At around New Year hubby and I committed to NCT classes and, given our change in finances, I reluctantly accepted that we probably wouldn’t be able to afford to do hypnobirthing classes as well. So I bought a book about hypnobirthing, which, predictably, I read the first chapter of and then somehow just didn’t find time to pick up again.

Fast forward to us actually starting NCT classes, and other couples started talking about how they’d done hypnobirthing classes too and found them really helpful. Well, thank goodness for a bit of peer influence, because I think up until this point hubby had thought that hypnobirthing was all a load of hippy nonsense and not something to be spending his hard earned cash on. I think the opinions of the NCT bunch, coupled with a growing realisation from him that an actual child is going to have to exit my body at some point and I could be a bit worried about it, convinced him that hypnobirthing might be worth a try.

When we went to the Mothercare Expectant Parent event a few weeks ago, we met a lovely lady who was selling the services of her mum; a midwife at our local MLBU and hypnobirthing practitioner. Her course also happened to be £40 cheaper than the main provider in our area, so we were pretty much sold! The only worry I had was that the optimum time to do hypnobirthing classes is between 28 and 32 weeks, so we were leaving it a bit late!

Anyway, I got in contact with Emma, from Own Your Birth, and she was fabulous and assured me that no, we weren’t too late. She also made an extra effort to give me a call to speak to me about my concerns as to how useful hypnobirthing might be if I do end up have a caesarean, and I found her so lovely that we didn’t hesitate to book.

The course we’re doing is over two full days, on consecutive Sundays. Emma holds the classes in the attic room of her house, with a maximum of three couples. It’s a really lovely, cosy experience and the other couples were so nice we felt completely at ease immediately. In fact, Emma offered to have a feel of my bump to see if baby seemed like she had turned (inconclusive; we can’t work out what’s going on in there!) and I didn’t worry at all about lifting up my top and letting her at my belly in front of the other couples.

The session itself was great. We went through the principles of hypnobirthing and some scripts for relaxation, which were fabulous (I’m not sure if I drifted off at some points or was just deep in trance!) as well as watching this video which really shows how incredible hypnobirthing can be. I can’t believe that lady is actually in established labour for most of the video! She’s not one of Emma’s clients, just a lady who has posted her experience online.

We left feeling completely chilled and looking forward to the next session next weekend!

Have you had hypnobirthing classes? How did they help you with your birthing?

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Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored in any way. We paid for our hypnobirthing classes ourselves and I was not asked to write this. All opinions are my own.

Cuddle Fairy